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Diminished

Why Visual C++ ?

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Hi, I'm 16 years old and I've been learning C++ for about a year now. When I first started learning C++ I used a compiler that came with a book I bought, but after consulting a number of programmers on various forums I've always been discouraged on using anything but Visual C++. Is there a specific reason to use Visual C++ over any other compiler? I'm wondering this because compared to other compilers that I have used, Visual C++ is extremely complicated and I believe it is hindering my learning, although I'm willing to take the time to learn to use it I would much rather use another compiler just for the ease of use. Maybe after getting a grasp on the language I could move on to using Visual C++ perhaps for professional quality programs. Also, any recommendation for a Visual C++ tutorial would be appreciated. Sorry if this topic has been explored before.

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Its just over-all, better. Comes with everything you need for development. Has a good debugger, and many other helpful features. I remember when i used to use devc++ and debugging was something i never used. In vc++, its incredibly easy to use.

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Visual C++ isn't the only IDE* recommended on these boards. Some people recommend Code::Blocks. Personally I like VC++, but you may prefer Code::Blocks if you feel VC++ is overcomplicating everything.

A few people might recommend Eclipse (although that's possibly more suited to Java development simply because that's what it seems to be used for the most). Some might recommend doing everything by hand with a simpler text editor (Scite, TextPad, or whatever) and writing makefiles to control compilation.

When using a debugger though, good IDE integration is very helpful (not essential, but very helpful). VC++ is very good on that point. I don't know what Code::Blocks provides (I assume it integrates with gdb in some way, but I don't know how neatly they work together).

I used to use Dev C++, but as far as I know it hasn't been updated in a long time, and I seem to remember its code completion was quite buggy (this is something that's actually very difficult to do efficiently with C++, I believe - VC++ does a pretty good job of it) - my impression from reading other people's posts is that Code::Blocks beats Dev C++ nowadays.

John B
* Incidentally, this is what you're talking about. VC++ comes with Microsoft's compiler, but that is a separate program which can be used by other tools or through the command line if you want. Most other free C++ IDEs come with the GNU compiler or a variant of it (mingw is a variant that produces Windows executables).

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First of all, compiler is just a command line application, that turns your C++ code into binary format, and then linker is used to link those binary file into an executable binary file.

Visual C++ compiler is very good - it conforms to the C++ standard (well, almost, but the things it doesn't have are also missing in most other compilers as well). It has many optimization features - as far as I know, Visual C++ compiler is one of the best at this (I heard that Intel compiler is just as good or even better at optimizing).

Now, when you say compiler, I assume you had IDE (Integrated Development Environment) in mind. Well, Visual C++ is probably the best windows IDE. It's debugging features are way ahead of any other IDE I've ever tried (Borland, CodeBlocks, DevCpp). IntelliSense is indeed intelligent (most IDEs have it, these days, but they just aren't as smart as in VC++).

What I like the most in VC++ is it's solution/project management and project settings management features. You can customize anything, you can even add your own or third party compilers into the build and have a nice configuration window for it as if it was built in!

Basically, I would never switch to any other IDE - VC++ is the best thing in the field, and I don't see any other alternative for it... It isn't that hard to use it too, just get one of your friends (who already worked with it) to explain the basics to you, and the rest you can find out on your own!

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Quote:
Original post by Diminished
Is there a specific reason to use Visual C++ over any other compiler?

No1.
Quote:
Original post by Diminished
Is there a specific reason to use Visual C++ Studio over any other compiler IDE?

There are good reasons to use Visual C++ over any other specific IDE currently in existance. Because it's simply the best (for C++ at any rate).

The C++ Language, however, is far more complicated than the Visual Studio IDE. And while that IDE is still a bit complex, the alternatives are worse IMO. Instead of having a centralized point of configuration (the IDE) and documentation (MSDN), you instead get to trawl through search queries trying to find the relevant information between multiple, only partially overlapping, sources of support and information.

In the end, it boils down to this fact: Visual Studio lets me spend more time coding than the alternatives. I'll leave my 2¢ at that.



EDIT: [1] The Visual C++ compiler is also pretty kicking and better than many in various ways, but no, sometimes using other compilers makes sense. In fact, I recommend using multiple compilers in many situations, for a variety of reasons.

EDIT: Clarified wording in ¶3


[Edited by - MaulingMonkey on May 21, 2007 1:03:52 AM]

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There's only one area where other IDEs beat VC++ IMHO, and that's learning curve.

Once you learn to create projects (Ctrl-Shift-N), and learn how to compile and run (F5 or Ctrl-F5), you'll love it.

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Thanks for all of the input guys, I think I might stick with Visual C++ for a little while longer and see if I can get the hang of it. Do you guys know of any helpful tutorials on the web?

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I would recommend Visual Studio 2005, or .NET 2003 if you can get hand on them because Visual C++ (probably 6.0 you got) is way crappier. As for learning how to use it, it's pretty easy. The hard part every beginner find difficult is checking the "empty project" checkbox or else you start with a project with files you don't want.

Once there you just have to check the available panes one by one. Note that they differs when you are either normal coding mode or in runtime/debugging.

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What about Visual Studio is it that seems too complex?
I find it pretty easy to use (you don't have to use every feature it offers, after all), but maybe I'm just too used to the program to see what it is that's confusing you.

You create a project, you add your files to it, you hit F5 to compile and run. That's about all I can think of that you need to know to use it.

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Quote:
Original post by MaulingMonkey
Quote:
Original post by Diminished
Is there a specific reason to use Visual C++ over any other compiler?

No1.
Quote:
Original post by Diminished
Is there a specific reason to use Visual C++ Studio over any other compiler IDE?

There are good ...


Your first sentence stands in contrast with the corrections you made in the text which you quoted.

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